In the report, the organization ranked Amarillo second in the state and 37th in the nation. But Amarillo Police’s Crime Prevention Coordinator told us she’s not surprised with those findings.
“I’m going to say that’s pretty accurate,” 83% of the vehicles stolen in Amarillo have the keys in it. This year alone we’ve had 655 trailers, automobiles, motorcycles, stolen,” said Tammy Chervenka, Amarillo Police Crime Prevention Coordinator.
But the Director of Public Affairs for NICB said the rankings on the report is not exclusive to the city.
“It includes all the vehicle thefts that occurred in our Armstrong, Carson, Oldham, Potter, and Randall counties. So that’s the geographic zone. That provided the theft numbers. Then we work a formula based number of vehicle thefts per 100,000 in population,” said Frank Scafidi, National Insurance Crime Bureau Director of Public Affairs.
Although we ranked second in the state, he said overall there’s a nationwide improvement.
“The vehicle theft problem, nationwide is about half what it was in the early 90s,” said Scafidi.
Chervenka said since the 2015 creation of the Panhandle Auto Burglary Theft Unit, they’ve seen a steady rate of the crime.
She said one morning when officers went driving around, within two hours she said they found 180-vehicles left running unattended.